Friday, 6 March 2015

Warmer weather on the horizon for Montreal

AP Photo of Delta Flight 1086 from Atlanta, Georgia that slid off the runway at La Guardia Airport in New York City on Thursday morning. 
A break from the brutal cold is on the horizon, one that will hopefully last longer than a few hours. We managed 2C (36F) on Wednesday, the temperature making it above freezing in Montreal for the first time in 44 days. Sadly that was followed by an overnight low this morning of -21C (-6F), the 26th time since January 1st that we have surpassed the -20C threshold.

This winter has been brutal in eastern Canada and the US and this week has been no different. The storm track remains to our south as it has been all winter. Heavy snow on Thursday fell in a swath from north Texas into southern New England. One of the hardest hit states was Kentucky where 1 to 2 feet of snow fell. The snow stranded thousands of motorists on interstates forcing the State Police and National Guard to rescue many. Some drivers were in their cars for over 20 hours. The weather also played a role in Delta Flight 1086 from Atlanta skidding off an icy runway at La Guardia Airport in New York on Thursday morning. The McDonnall Douglas MD-88 nearly ended up in  Jamaica Bay. Only minor injuries were reported among the 132 passengers and crew. It was snowing at the time with rapidly dropping temperatures.

So that brings us back to Montreal and our forecast gradual warming trend. Today will be sunny and cold with a gusty southwest wind up to 60km/h and a high of only -6C (21F). Weak low pressure will produce light snow or flurries on Saturday into early Sunday with highs both days near -3C (27F). We are not expecting much in the way of accumulations, perhaps 1-3cm for the day. Monday will see a little more snow but with temperatures warming above freezing to 2C (36F). We may see plus 4 or 5C (41F) by next Wednesday, which would break the 40F mark for the first time since December.
Looking beyond Wednesday, no major storms are in sight, however don't expect to get very warm either. The normal high for this time of year is 0C (32F) and it looks like we should be close to that or slightly below for the balance of March.

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